How To Beat These 12 B2B Marketing Challenges in 2024

January 12, 2024

ViB Editorial Team

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Doesn’t the rollercoaster of 2023 already feel like ages ago? It’s crazy… But before we tread ahead and forget our past, I want to be sure we’re arming ourselves with lessons from our biggest B2B marketing challenges from the previous year. 

2023 threw us marketers and business leaders some real curveballs. Like generative AI for example. And Google’s spam updates. It’s been a year of adapting, innovating, and sometimes, just winging it. And I know it can be done better.

So, we reached out to you guys — the wizards of marketing, sales, and business — and asked a few of you to share the toughest B2B marketing and lead generation challenges you’ve navigated through.

Hopefully, with insights from so many voices, this can be a little pocket guide for the ultimate B2B marketing strategy game. 

Everyone’s talking about trends, but what are the ones that really matter in 2024? We asked 6 leading marketing minds to share their thoughts around AI and SEO, data privacy, behavioral science hacks, and even human-focused email templates that generate leads, period.

Top B2B marketing challenges we faced

If we could sum it all up, B2B marketers and leaders saw volatility.

“When I think about digital marketing in 2023, the first word that comes to mind is volatility. In years past, there were always changes in Google's algorithm or some tweaks on social media that could cause panic, but this year, it felt like every month there was a new challenge.

From the roller-coaster ride that was X (formerly known as Twitter), to the onslaught of new artificial intelligence tools, and the institution of Google Analytics 4, staying on your toes felt more critical than ever. If you weren't willing and able to adapt, you could watch your digital marketing strategy get turned on its head instantly.

This level of volatility feels like it's going to continue into 2024 as Google's new AI search engine makes its large-scale debut, more social media competitors attempt to take X's market share, and the desire for privacy determines just how easy it is to track the data for our digital marketing campaigns.”

Contributed by:
Content Marketing Manager, The Loop Marketing

And so the biggest challenge all of us faced was adapting. To the zigs and zags of our industry, tools and technologies, and consumer behavior.

Let’s look at all the rest of these real stories from the front lines of B2B marketing. 👇

Challenge 1: Growing need for customer connection

“This year, one of the most significant B2B marketing challenges I encountered was in the need to connect with my target audience on a more personal level. The dynamic business landscape has led to a shift in our target audience, compelling us to adapt our marketing strategies accordingly.

“In the past, we could effectively reach a broad audience with generic marketing messages. However, as our target audience evolved, this approach became less effective. We needed to tailor our marketing efforts to resonate with a more specific group of individuals, understanding their unique needs and preferences.

Luciano’s tip: Understand and be genuine with your audience

“To achieve this, we engaged in extensive research to gain a deeper understanding of our target audience. We delved into their pain points, aspirations, and decision-making processes. This knowledge enabled us to craft personalized marketing messages that resonated with their specific interests.

“Beyond understanding our target audience’s needs, we also focused on fostering genuine connections with them. This involved providing value beyond simply promoting our products or services. We engaged in meaningful conversations, addressing their B2B marketing challenges and offering solutions tailored to their specific circumstances.”

Contributed by:
Founder and CEO, PitchGrade

Challenge 2: Performance dips from Google’s search engine shifts

“Google’s changing the way it shows search results did have a negative impact on us in 2023. While our positioning increased, the way they displayed page 1 resulted in fewer impressions and clicks.

Jason’s tip: Revaluate a multi-channel strategy

“The good news is that this forced us to dig deeper into our lead outreach, finding more ways to engage with our target audience than directly through our service pages.”

Contributed by:
Director of Content, SmashBrand

Challenge 3: Reduced access to contact information

“The biggest challenge I found from a lead-generation perspective was the reduced and restricted access to individual phone numbers and extensions—a cultural shift from the days of the pandemic. 

“Our approach has always been to talk to prospects over the phone; it helps build rapport and provides a higher level of communication and detail. 

“However, since the pandemic and the shift to home working, many agencies and businesses no longer have a central phone number or switchboard, as people generally no longer work at their desks. This has closed doors to many of our B2B prospects.”

Our tip: Be updated on where your audiences are

Many buyers are no longer easily reachable by a business phone number. Neither do they want to be contacted on their personal line. 

But they could still be actively exploring vendors, on social platforms, face-to-face events, or even purpose-built online networks. Take the ViB Community for example, which is a platform where B2B tech buyers “hangout” to discover tech vendors curated to their interests. Being present there could open new doors, unachievable with traditional prospecting.

Contributed by:
Founder and Creative Director, Lambda Films

Challenge 4: Changing consumer expectations

“Looking back at 2023, we faced a notable challenge in keeping pace with the swiftly changing behaviors of our audience. 

“The introduction of groundbreaking technologies like generative AI heightened consumer expectations, causing a continuous evolution in their perspectives.

Rahul’s Tip: Stay proactive

“To address this, we took a proactive approach, tweaking our marketing strategies to stay nimble and effectively respond to the shifting demands of our dynamic audience.”

Contributed by:
Digital Marketing Manager, GMR Web Team

Challenge 5: Increasingly complex buyer journeys

“Indeed, B2B marketing and lead generation in 2023 was a wild ride on a virtual roller coaster. It was brimming with both peaks and drops. One standout challenge to pinpoint is the ever-shifting buyer journey. 

“I encountered the same challenge recently when I was required to create a traditional customer journey and lead nurturing campaigns. With the rise of remote work and distributed teams, buyers nowadays take a non-linear purchasing path, exploring multiple channels, researching independently, and engaging with various decision-makers, making it challenging to identify the ideal targets and approach.

Fahad’s tip: Adapt to a non-linear journey

“However, by adopting a data-driven approach, creating personalized and dynamic content, and employing flexible marketing automation, B2B marketers can easily navigate the world of the ever-shifting buyer journey for lead generation and marketing.”

Contributed by:
Digital Marketing Manager, Ubuy India

Challenge 6: Less face-to-face selling

“Reflecting on 2023, a unique challenge we faced in B2B marketing and lead generation was the evolving landscape of remote decision-making. 

“Traditionally, our digital marketing agency thrived on personalized, face-to-face interactions to build trust and close deals. However, with the increasing shift toward remote work environments, we had to innovate rapidly.

Daniel’s tip: Capture and engage over virtual sales meetings

“Our approach shifted to creating virtual experiences that were just as engaging and persuasive as in-person meetings. This included virtual reality presentations and interactive digital content tailored to each client’s business needs. 

“This strategy not only helped us maintain the personal touch in our communications but also allowed us to reach a wider, global audience more efficiently. The key takeaway from this experience is the importance of adaptability in digital marketing strategies, especially in an era where business practices and environments are constantly evolving.”

Contributed by:
Founder and Director, DB IT

Challenge 7: Digital saturation and competition

“One of the major  b2b marketing challenges we faced in lead generation was navigating the shift to digital-first strategies amidst pandemic-induced changes. 

“As physical networking events became obsolete, we capitalized on social media and email marketing to generate leads. 

Montez’s tip: Create unique digital experiences to compete

“However, the landscape was quite saturated, so our focus had to be on delivering unique value propositions via engaging and personalized content. 

“A specific example is our use of immersive experiences through augmented reality (AR) in our campaigns, which significantly improved our customer engagements and consequently led to a 30% increase in quality leads. The digital immersion in marketing is a trend to watch and leverage in the B2B space.”

Contributed by:

Challenge 8: Evolving data regulations

“In 2023, navigating evolving data regulations posed a significant challenge in B2B marketing. As a CRM systems administrator, my role centered on adapting to stringent global privacy laws. It went beyond compliance—seamless data management within boundaries was key.

Calan’s tip: Be innovative with data protection

“Modifying CRM systems, refining data collection, and ensuring explicit consent became daily tasks. 

“The challenge spurred a reevaluation of lead strategies, leading to innovative, compliant engagement methods with prospects.

“Balancing competitiveness and ethical data practices was paramount. It demanded a meticulous approach within the evolving regulatory landscape.”

Contributed by:
Data Systems Strategist, Strategic America

Challenge 9: Tighter cold emailing restrictions

As email providers intensify their efforts to clamp down on unsolicited emails, marketers are facing an uphill battle in getting their messages across.

“Simply said, battling with the email providers that are looking to get rid of cold emailing on their platforms involves enforcing stricter restrictions when it comes to mass email creation and sending. 

“Zoho is an example of an email provider that completely wiped out cold email efforts, and we see similar actions coming from Google Workspace in February 2024.”

See the 10 B2B data providers we trust

Our tip: Find new ways to get matched with interested leads

To combat this b2b marketing challenge, marketers need to pivot towards more consent-based marketing techniques. This involves nurturing leads through value-driven content and leveraging opt-in methods to build a more engaged and responsive mailing list. 

Additionally, using advanced segmentation and personalization strategies to help ensure that your emails are relevant and welcomed by the recipients. 

With ViB Emails, for example, marketers can launch campaigns to ViB’s millions-strong community of tech professionals who’ve opted in to get updates. And because it’s ViB who does the send, there’s no risk to your email domain reputation.

How Vib Email Service Works

The key lies in quality over quantity, focusing on building meaningful connections rather than just pushing out mass emails.

Contributed by:

Challenge 10: Getting the attention of decision-makers

“One big problem we ran into in 2023 with B2B marketing and lead generation was that it was getting harder and harder to reach decision-makers. 

“As more people worked from home, decision-makers were bombarded with digital messages, which made it harder to get their attention through traditional methods.

O'Sullivan’s tip: Stand out, then connect

“This made us think of more unique and personalized ways to reach out to our target audience so that we could stand out from the crowd and connect with them effectively.”

Challenge 11: Gathering and using customer data

“The changing rules for data privacy were a big problem for B2B marketing and lead generation in 2023. 

“Since stricter data protection rules and more concerns about data security came into effect, it became harder to gather and use customer data for targeted marketing efforts.

Tim’s tip: Set new foundations for data collection

“To ensure we stayed in line with the rules and still reached our target group, we had to invest in robust data compliance measures and improve the way we collected data.”

One way is to prioritize first and zero-party data sources. For example, marketers can use surveys or preference centers to directly collect data from audiences, or work with zero-party data partners like ViB for lead generation.

Contributed by:
Tim Griffiths

Challenge 12: Slower lead generation through online communities and SEO

“I encountered two concrete  b2b marketing challenges:

  1. During the pandemic, Slack communities were quite active, and I would find leads and close deals. 2023 has been a year with a lot of in-person activity and events, slowing down the use of online communities, which has resulted in losing traction through this channel.
  2. 2023 has been the year in which generative AI took off. My SEO ranks have been hit hard due to enormous amounts of articles automatically generated with AI spamming Google. I’ve especially noticed less traffic and leads after summer.”

Our tip: Use an ecosystem of lead generation channels

In-person events and generative AI are some of the biggest disruptions to tactics we’ve known and grown dependent on. Not placing all your eggs in one basket is crucial.

It’s all about keeping an open mind to experiment with new lead generation strategies, while doubling down on authenticity and user experience. 

Contributed by:
Founder and Managing Partner, Predictable Innovation Strategy

Which B2B marketing challenges did you face?

B2B marketing and lead generation hasn’t been easy for many the past year. How was it for you?

But… every challenge we’ve encountered has been a stepping stone towards innovation and growth. The insights shared by our panel of experts not only highlight the hurdles but also reveal the path forward. 

Whether it’s about adapting to the changing preferences of our audience, leveraging new platforms for lead generation, or ensuring compliance with tighter regulations, there’s a wealth of knowledge to be gleaned from these experiences.

Tech professionals don’t like to give up their contact information. That’s why Lauren from OffSec works closely with ViB for targeted demand generation — that exceeds her goals on repeat.

The silver lining in B2B marketing

My key takeaway from this past year: versatility and agility are our greatest assets. B2B marketing is never going to stop changing, and staying ahead means being open to continuous learning and adaptation.

And if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the pace of change or just looking for a guiding hand to get through these complex challenges, remember, you’re not alone. 

At ViB, we specialize in helping emerging to large businesses like yours excel in B2B demand generation. With our community-based approach, white-glove support, and a focus on delivering quality leads, we’re here to ensure your marketing strategies hit the mark every time.

Interested in more? Grab a copy of our media kit to see how we could help, or connect with us so you’ll never miss a post like this.

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